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Educational Solutions blog

Carnegie Mellon Open Learning Initiative – course materials for blended learning with a proven track record of success

With all the recent hype about MOOCs, it is unfortunate that a tool with a much longer and proven track record of increasing student success, Carnegie Mellon’s Open Learning Initiative, has received almost no coverage in the academic or mainstream press. OLI has been in operation for several years, and with its not-for-profit blended learning model, has enabled students in courses like statistics to master material faster (8 weeks vs 16 weeks) and more thoroughly than students in traditional classrooms. OLI currently offers courses in anatomy and physiology, argument diagramming, biology, biochemistry, chemistry, elementary French, logic and proofs, psychology, and statistics and probability, and it enables faculty on any campus to use some or all of the OLI materials in their own courses. OLI has partnered with community colleges and other institutions (Bryn Mawr among them) to help them incorporate its tools into courses on their own campuses, and it has published several research papers documenting the positive effects of their courses on student learning.

Although OLI hasn’t appeared much in the academic or mainstream press, it was featured in a chapter of the recently published Educause book “Game Changers: Education and Information Technologies.” The chapter provides an excellent overview of the problems with the traditional educational model and describes ways that OLI addresses them.

Chapter 15 Game Changers: Education and Information Technology

Carnegie Mellon Open Learning Initiative

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